New Years Resolution – Become a Better Artist

Do you want to be a better artist in 2019? Here are 10 effective tips that will help you achieve your goals.

As we start 2019 most of us have new things we want to do. We start off on the right track with resolutions, but as time passes what we resolve to do diminishes. For artists it’s especially important to make resolutions that will keep you on the track to creating more art and increase your skills as an artist.

First, let’s dispel any myths that there are quick and easy ways to become a good artist. With the instant gratification of the Internet and so many other things, unrealistic expectations can set in that a few hours here and there will send you on your way to perfection.

Art is an investment in time, observation and ongoing skill.

1. Improve Time Management Skills
If you don’t have time to work on your craft, how can you get better? How efficiently you spend your working hours directly affects how much time you have to spend doing the activities you enjoy. Write to-do lists every day, tune into your most productive and energetic times of the day. Work to stay focused by avoiding the distractions that you’re prone to. Turn your phone off!

Mindfulness in art

2. Appreciate More
Obviously, creating art comes from a place inside of you. Taking time to tune into the good (and the bad) in your life is important. Observe the small things. Practice mindfulness, being in the moment and gratitude. When you slow your critical thinking down you can tune into the fleeting moments. The moments between the breaths. Moments that you can capture what you see, feel and express on a deeper level. Everyday demands can make it a challenge to see in ‘slow motion’, however as you practice doing this you will notice the things around you in a new way.

3. Get Organized

Organization can be a challenge for a visual person. As a visual person, I like to see all the stuff on my desk that I have to work with. I’ve been reading that reducing clutter can help with clarity. Each day I’m resolving to organize small sections of my workstations. We’ll see how it goes!

4. Put Time for Art on the Calendar
We only get better with practice and sometimes making the time to practice art is a challenge. Make it a priority to create new art and work on current art in 2019. Even if it’s just an hour a week, you will make progress and don’t forget about the therapeutic benefits of lowering anxiety and stress!

sketching ideas

5. Draw, Sketch… Draw, Sketch… Repeat!
Drawing is the foundation to all art and a skill that is based on practice and observation. As you learn how to draw, work on increasing your skills with sketching and exploration. Basic shapes, line, values, expressive lines and capturing ‘feeling’ of what you are expressing. Even the best of artists continue to draw and sketch. Take your sketchbook to work, in between meetings or whatever, get out your sketchbook and get some lines and shapes expressed!

6. Invest in Good Art Supplies
Don’t underestimate the value of good quality art supplies. Depending on the medium that you are exploring, you will want to take the time to work with products that have stood the test of time. From drawing supplies, papers, paints, pencils, markers, tapes, lighting and so much more. Below are a few of the products we have used and love.

  • The Field Box Set of Watercolors from Dickblick.com. This compact, pocket-sized field box unfolds into a palm-size kit that you can take anywhere.
  • Good watercolor paper is a must! Arches Watercolor Blocks have been around for decades. Check it out here.
  • The best pastel pencils on the planet! Stabilo CarbOthello Pastel Pencils are perfect for rich details and especially awesome for portrait drawing. Details and purchase here
  • Prismacolors are a must have. Made popular in recent years for adult coloring books, they are so much more. Perfect for detailed artwork and illustration. Painterly effects can be achieved with practice. Best deals on Amazon here
  • A sharp pencil… is a happy pencil.  Take a look at this Grip Trio Pencil Sharpener, which is recommended for three different openings for graphite, color, and jumbo pencils.
  • Be prepared to capture inspiration with this ‘glam’ creative doodling sketch book. This Personalized Artist Sketchbook, Notebook: Blank Paper for Drawing, Creative Doodling or Sketching.
  • Manga and cartooning fans will love these. 24 Color Super Markers Primary Manga Tones Dual Tip Set – Double-Ended Permanent Art Markers with Fine Bullet and Chisel Point Tips. Check them out here.

7. Take Time to Share & Encourage
As art can be a solitary activity it may be time to reach out and social media is a perfect avenue. Social media is here to stay. Visit other artists fan pages to show support and encouragement. Plan social media into your calendar and share the progress of your work.

8. Be Prepared – Always be ready to capture your ideas!
While out and about, inspiration strikes, be sure and capture it! Keep a sketchbook with you. Or at the very least, snap pictures of what catches your eye. Keeping an ongoing source of inspiring images that you can refer back to when needed. As your image files increase consider Dropbox which is a great tool for storage and can be accessed at any time.

9. Practice, Practice… Practice!
As we mentioned earlier, there is not a quick and easy fix to becoming a better artist. Besides, if there was, would that be fun? The reward of being a good artist is that you have achieved a level of skill that you have worked for. Even if it comes ‘easy’ to you, the gift of being an artist is one that never gets old or tiring. You can keep working on it and enjoying the personal satisfaction that comes from your creativity, skill and experience.

10. Teach Others
Stepping out of your comfort zone as you become a better artist to teach others can be unnerving. After all, perhaps you are your own worse critic. Does this fear of teaching hold you back? If you’ve attained any level of art skill it might be time for you to show others how you got good at your craft! YouTube videos and even in personal workshops can be very rewarding. As you get better, consider teaching and encouraging other artists! Share the art love!

In 2019, may you enjoy more time and inspiration as you create art!

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